This evaluation was conducted to provide the USAID Office of Population and Reproductive Health (PRH) with an independent evaluation of key components of PRH’s flagship knowledge management (KM) project, Knowledge for Health (K4Health), to aid in the development of the scope of work for a follow-on project.
Methods used were document review and in-depth interviews with key informants using semistructured guides. Informants were chosen purposively, with contacts provided by USAID and
K4Health. Interviews were coded, and themes were identified and connected to the evaluation questions. Purposive selection of informants and limitations on those accepting to be interviewed may have affected the findings. Interviews may also have suffered from reporting bias; the remote nature of many interviews may have limited flow of information.
The research, monitoring, and evaluation (RM&E) work has contributed to KM in global health in regard to project improvement, and influences other USAID-funded projects, but less so to the USAID
Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting (CLA) process. The team followed their research strategy, but has suffered from lack of research sites, the difficulty of measuring KM effectiveness, and their limited involvement in decisions related to proposals. A KM research team is best embedded in a project to address needs, challenges, and opportunities that arise. USAID has invested in KM over many funding cycles and now has a strong research team building the evidence base for KM effectiveness.
Providing KM capacity building to other projects could expand the number of project research sites. USAID’s investment in KM research should continue; it is bearing fruit and staff is poised to make a significant contribution. K4Health should be encouraged to take the lead in setting the research agenda.